Philosophy and Motorcycles

Philosophy and motorcycles are two of my favorite things in life. This blog will be bits of wisdom gleaned from a misspent youth and an adventurous dotage. People who like/love wisdom or motorcycles, classic or modern versions of either, are welcome to visit and comment.

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Location: Wisconsin, United States

I have been married to the same lovely woman for decades. We have one son, two cats, and live in rural Wisconsin, USA. I ride and rebuild motorcycles, and I am semi-retired. Favorite bikes are Yamaha XS650, FJ1200 and Ducati 900SS. My wife is a home care nurse. I am a Myers-Briggs INTP. She is ESFJ. Our son works at the Apple store in downtown SF and is teaching English as a second language in San Francisco, no grandchildren.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Tiddlers

My first real motorcycle was a small Ducati single. It was spring of my first year in college and a local young man had a Ducati 200 for sale. With what I had for money and with help from my dad I got together enough to purchase that motorcycle and it changed my life. I had built powered bicycles but they were not legal on the road. In our very rural area I could drive my bicycle with the 2hp Lawson pump engine but on a real road with traffic, or police, I couldn't use it.

I don't know just what size motorcycles and scooters fit the category of tiddler. I think of anything under 200cc as qualifying as a tiddler. I suspect that in Europe it would be under 100cc but this isn't Europe. Certainly one doesn't see many cycles under 200cc on the road. There are a lot of campus scooters but few of anything that look like a cycle under 200cc.

My memory isn't accurate and I am sure this little Ducati isn't as much a machine as my 200 was but it should be fun. To me it's more a piece of art than something I will actually use. I have always found the Ducati bevel singles to be beautiful. Since the 160 Monza has little cash value I am free to change things and make it into what I like. Drum brakes, megaphone pipe, cafe style. I can visualize it already. I have seen other singles that have inspired a lot of thinking and dreaming. A friend has a 350 single that is a real road bike and beautiful. I may eventually try something like that but for vintage road bikes to drive I have my Yamaha XS1b, XS2 and TX. I want this little machine just to have one to look at when it is winter and I can't drive a cycle. One of the great things about being near retirement is that I can have toys just to have them. I don't need to explain to anyone or try to justify the purchase so long as I don't exceed my budget. There is a Desmosedecci on the web. It's under 70k. If I had that kind of money, that is the machine that would look good sitting next to the tiddler. I wouldn't drive that either. Too fast and valuable is worse than slow and inexpensive. I won't drive the 160 much but I will be able to take it out without having to hire a couple large Italians to guard it, or an ambulance to follow me. Just thinking about that desmosedecci makes getting an old Ducati single seem like a rational decision. But dear, I need a motorcycle that goes 200 mph. I am 25 miles from work and I like to sleep late. Maybe I could try to explain it as an investment. Or, maybe I can just polish the little Monza and be thankful I'm not really crazy. LN

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